Memphis is FINALLY getting an all-vegan food establishment!!! As of right now, there is no restaurant or cafe serving only vegan foods. But that won't be the case when the Cosmic Coconut vegan juice bar opens in April in the empty storefront next to Muddy's Bake Shop on Sanderlin in East Memphis.
On Tuesday, Cosmic Coconut proprietor Ashley Dunn welcomed a few vegetarians and vegans over to sample her offerings. She'll mostly serve freshly-made vegetable and fruit juices, as well as smoothies made with fruit and plant milk (no dairy allowed!). And she'll be selling a few raw vegan sweet treats too.
When I walked into Ashley's guest house on Tuesday, she was busy making wheat grass shots to get us started:
Next up were samples of three of her juices — Green Lemonade (lemon, ginger, chard), a beet juice with carrots, ginger, chard, and some other tasty stuff I can't remember, and a refreshing cucumber-apple juice. Here's my co-worker and fellow vegan Hannah enjoying her cucumber-apple beverage:
After the energizing juices, Ashley switched to smoothies. We tried two kinds — her namesake Cosmic Coconut (fresh young Thai coconut meat, banana, pineapple, and coconut milk) and a fruity goji berry smoothie. I LOVED the Cosmic Coconut the most, but I'm a sucker for anything with coconut:
Ashley warned us to save plenty of room for dessert. She made three samples of raw vegan desserts she plans to offer in the store. My very, very favorite were these Coco Nuttys — a cookie made with raw nuts, cacao, and coconut. These were melt-in-your-mouth fantastic!
And then we tried the lemon-coconut thumbprint cookies made from cashews, coconut butter, and lemon juice. After coconut, lemon's probably my second favorite fruit. So of course I loved these!
I failed to take a photograph of our last dessert — a chocolate avocado pudding with rice whip! — but trust me when I say that it was dream-tastic.
Margot McNeeley of Project Green Fork joined us for samples, and she had a little fun with the wheat grass "poop." Here's she is modeling wheat grass dreads:
By the way, Project Green Fork is a local certification system for restaurants who practice sustainability through recycling, composting, and using green cleaners and earth-friendly packaging.
Anyway, I'll keep y'all posted on Cosmic Coconut's official opening date. But if you live in (or ever visit) Memphis, you must stop in and try Ashley's juices, smoothies, and desserts!